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Fifteen-year old Melanie has run away and is lost in the Californian desert. The search party is told she is mute. But is Melanie really mute, or is there an unspeakable secret in her life? Yes -- Melanie’s is terrified by the thought of allowing anyone into her mind, of putting thoughts into words. And so Melanie has decided not to talk. She prefers her perfect fantasy world to the problematic reality of a broken family and bullies at school. Lost in the desert, she discovers that she isn't the only one who has problems with words. A young man doesn’t understand “No”. An illegal immigrant has no voice in America. A gay man can’t explain himself. An old man is silenced by a stroke. Melanie doesn’t talk because she is afraid of being misunderstood, but love and longing finally make her speak out.

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    Deep and moving

    The characters in the book seem trapped in a world of their own fears and insecurities. Erika Rummel does an excellent job of describing their thoughts and actions as seen by an 'autistic' girl.


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